Wednesday, 11 September 2013


Buying the right fabric:

 I have  just recently posted about the best fabric for the Mae blouse and  its radness for stash busting,  so check out the post, here . Also check out the  suggested fabrics listed on the back of your pattern envelope, which you will see the preferred fabrics are: Light weight cotton and cotton blends.

For a little more inspiration you can also see some recent  examples of the Mae blouse all sewn  up  in a couple of  different fabrics and ways:

Right:  Jen 

Making a muslin:

I kind of think this is the norm these days in the sewing world, but i am going to say it anyway! I highly recommend making a muslin for the Mae blouse... Why? A myriad of reasons but the main reason being, the final fit of the blouse. The blouse is designed to be very form fitting  around the waistline, and has very little ease. Also if you are new to Bluegingerdoll patterns, they are drafted based on a D cup. Completing a muslin before you cut into your fabulous fabric you have picked out, is also  a great test run before you sew up your final blouse.. trust me  it will also save you a bucket load of tears and swearing down the track, by dealing with any glaring fit issues that may occur.

So below is just a quick run -down on the basics of making a muslin:

* Pick out some calico or cheap fabric that is a similar weight and drape to your main fabric you have selected. If you have managed  to  find some cheap fabric that isn't fluro,1980s inspired and completely gross, you will also score your self another blouse, also called a 'wearable muslin'.  A simple muslin you can simply just be basted together and don't bother stitching the buttonholes, buttons or facings. If  you are going to make a wearable muslin stitch together as normal as you would your final blouse.

Choose your size:

If you need a refresher on how exactly to measure yourself properly, then welcome back my  lovely measuring lady... . i am yet to name her!  Use her as a visual guide,to make sure you have the right measurements. Grab a a measuring tape, and note down your bust, waist and hip  measurements( there a slight peplum to the Mae  blouse, so the hip is relatively open so not as important, but measure anyway.) 

Now that you have your measurements, refer to the size chart on the pattern packaging back to determine your size. As i mentioned above the Mae blouse has been designed to be form fitting, and without very little ease around the waistline, so keep this in mind when finding your size. If you prefer a bit more room, then choose a larger size.

Don't panic if you find that you are in between sizes here and there, it is a common occurrence  to overlap into different sizes. I will also show you quickly,  just  how to trace the pattern when you are in between sizes.

Trace your pattern:

Due to the fact that you may need  to make some pattern adjustments, tracing your Mae pattern is recommended. Even if you don't need to make any pattern adjustments, its a great way to keep your pattern a lot longer, in its original state, for future use or if you want to sew up a Mae for a friend who is a different size then you. So to start with trace off your chosen size, which  you noted down from the back of the pattern packaging. It is important to trace each pattern piece as accurately as you can, this is where,  if you have some curved rulers they will come in handy.

If you found you are in between sizes you will need to overlap into different sizes at the areas which differ i.e bust, waist hips.

** Above i have graded from a size 12 bust to a size 10 waist, then size 12 hip***

 Also make sure to copy down all the important info and pattern markings, and notches onto your traced pattern. It is also a good idea to label each pattern piece, and the size you are using, and any instructions they have i.e cut on the fold, grain lines etc

Cut out your pattern:

Now you can lay out your pattern  pieces as shown in the cutting layout diagrams on the instruction sheet, page 1 or as economically as you can with the fabric you have. 
Unless you’re making a wearable muslin, there is no need to cut out the facings. Just cut the bodice front and back. I did choose to cut out my facings in this case, because this will be my final blouse. Remember to transfer all markings (dart,  button, button holes, fold lines, etc) onto your fabric, then cut out the pattern  pieces.

Stitching up your muslin:

Once you have cut out your muslin fabric, depending on what type of muslin you are making simply just follow the below steps:

Simple Muslin, machine baste
* Sew the darts, front and back bodice
* Sew the shoulder and bodice side seams.

Wearable Muslin
* Stitch as the blouse normally  as per the instructions.

Determine any fit alterations & alter pattern if needed:

Now you can try on your Mae muslin! 
If you have stitched up a 'simple muslin' I would recommend just overlapping the back bodice pieces right over left and pinning them place where the buttons would be, during this test fit phase. 

OK now you need to ask yourself a few questions about the muslin's fit: 

Have I cut out  the right size? Is it comfortable?
Does the bodice fit correctly across the bust? No pulling or too loose?
 Is the bodice  waist nicely  fitted and  comfortable? Again no pulling or too loose?
Is the bodice the right length?

When i test a muslin i also like to move around in it, wear it around the house, do some chores etc just to confirm that it fits just as well moving, as well as standing still in front of the mirror.

If you have found some funny business going on with the bust fit, then  stay tuned I  have a detailed tutorials coming up next on how to complete a Full and Small Bust Adjustment on the Mae blouse. 
If you have found the waistline to be too tight or loose, then you need to adjust the size you have traced and cut out.
If you find the bodice is too short or long, you will need to  lengthen or shorten the bodice. These only require simple slash alterations on the lines indicated on the pattern pieces. There is also a quick explanation on the instruction sheet, page 1 on how to complete this step.If you do decide to lengthen or shorten the bodice you will also need to make adjustments to the button placement, as these will shift when you make the alterations.
 So tell me....I  would love to know what fabric you  have picked out your Mae blouse ? Cutest buttons ever for the back? Or Fabric covered buttons? Spill....
 Until the next sew-along i encourage everyone to post and  share your progress as the sew-along progresses.Also remember this is your sew-along so please let me know if i have missed anything, or if you want to know something in particular and ill try my bestest to help you out!

In case you haven't yet, you also need to join the  Flickr group to enter this contest at the end of the sew-along, cause we gonna be voting on em all! If you feel like socializing or want to keep tabs on the sew-along, here are the places to do so:


Use the hashtag # Mae



    1. Oh wow, I didn't know you drafted for a D-cup! Holy poop, that's wonderful! I'll definitely have to try your patterns then. Like I totally intended to before, but now I really want to! I might not have to do an FBA!

      1. Lol, I'm actually a G-cup, but I'm very proportional so I'm able to make most patterns work for me without anything more than a small FBA. A D-cup drafted pattern, though, sounds dreamy compared to the B-cup standard that I'm used to working with.

      2. Totally dreamy! Now completing a FBA on a D cup drafted patterns will be a cinch for you! :)

    2. Gah, this is killing me! I have my pattern traced, my fabric picked out... and I'm moving, so it's all packed away and I'm not allowed to sew. It's driving me insane - it's going to be so pretty!!

      1. I can hear a collective NOOOOOOOO, from every sewer in the world!!!

    3. Wow! A D cup drafted pattern.! I will have to take a closer look at your patterns. I'm a D cup!

      1. Bluegingerdoll patterns - supporting all D-Cuppers, the world over! ;)


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